Summary: What God offers must be Received.


Jonah 4:1-11


1. In Greek mythology Narcissus falls in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. He loves the image so deeply he cannot leave the side of the pool. Thus we have Narcissism, speaking of one who is self-absorbed.

Joseph Stowell writes:

Narcissism is the notion that life should revolve around me and claims that I am the greatest entity in my personal universe. All that really matters are my rights, my privileges, my happiness and my prosperity. Other people are always secondary. Loving myself and looking out for “number one” are all that matters…The result of self-dominated thinking is the destruction and alienation from others and God as we lock out everyone else and barricade ourselves within a ghetto of one!”

In Woody Allen’s movie Scoop, a character who used to believe in Judaism but now has converted to another religion describes his shift in belief. Sid Waterman says, “I was born into the Hebrew persuasion, but when I got older I converted to narcissism.”

2. Jonah was a prophet of God but somewhere along the way, he was converted to narcissism and became a prophet of self. The sad truth, we are never told whether he converted back to a prophet of God or not. If not, he let his Second Chance slip through his fingers.

3. The Second Chance can be Rejected.

Trans: Perhaps Jonah, and for sure a future generation of Ninevehites who refuse God’s offer of a second chance. Jonah 4:1-11




A. First, Jonah’s Languished. 4:1-15

1. Due to selfish Pride. 4:1

1 But it greatly displeased Jonah and he became angry – the verb anger comes from a root which means “to glow hot.”

In his mind his reputation was now damaged, he went from Hero to Heel. He is self-absorbed. As John Butler put it:

“Jonah’s displeasure was rooted and grounded in selfishness. To be displeased with God is one of the hallmarks of selfishness. When you find a person who is unhappy with the way God is doing things or wants things done, you have just found a selfish person. It is either self or God.” See Luke 9:23

Step back and take note of the personal pronouns:

1 But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. 2 He prayed to the LORD, "O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. 3 Now, O LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live." Jonah 4:1-3 (NIV)

Jonah did not care what was best for the people of Nineveh or God or anybody else – it is all about what is best for me!

Selfishness is in reality seeking a restraining order against God! We do not want Him or His plans or His ways.

In May 2016 an Israeli man petitioned for a restraining order against God. The plaintiff, identified as Mr. David Shoshan, represented himself at a court hearing in Haifa, a port city in the north of Israel.

The report noted that God was not present to defend himself. (Of course, God was present but didn't feel a need to defend himself).

David told the court that God had been treating him "harshly and not nicely." David also explained that he had made several attempts to contact police to report God's alleged crimes, and that patrol cars had been sent to his house on 10 occasions. Police advised David to try taking out a restraining order. The request for a restraining order was denied by the presiding Judge Ahsan Canaan, who said the request was "delusional" and that the petitioner required help from sources outside of the court.

We have a lot of delusional Christians who think they can keep God out of their lives and run it their way.

2. His selfish Prayers. 2-3

a. His lapse back into Carnality.

2 He prayed to the LORD and said, "Please LORD, was not this what I said while I was still in my own country? – in other words he admits his sinful attitude that he had when he left for Joppa.

But I thought Jonah repented in the raging sea? Was that not real repentance? Yes! But we can lapse back into sin! We cannot confess sin, repent, and get back to walking with God and think that is the end of it. We still have an old sin nature, we have to maintain our obedience (Mt. 26:41/Gal. 5:16/Eph. 6:12/2 Cor. 10:4-5).

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